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The High Sheriff’s Cheshire Prize for Literature is in its 16th year in 2019, having been set up in 2003 by the then High Sheriff of Cheshire, John Richards OBE, DL. The 2019 competition introduces a brand new category for scriptwriting and the University is delighted to be working with Storyhouse.

The Prize will be awarded for an original and previously unpublished playscript for theatre, radio or television no more than 15 minutes in length. The first stage is the submission of a one-page treatment between 500-800 words. The scripts should be in one location and feature no more than three actors, you may also use virtual social networking characters if you wish to. 12 of these submissions will be commissioned to produce the 15 minute playscript. Four entries will then be chosen to be performed and judged at a live performance on November 29, 2019 at Storyhouse.

For some guidelines on how to write a treatment please have a look at the links below.


The writer must have been born, live or have lived, study or have studied, work or have worked in Cheshire. For the purposes of the Prize, Cheshire is deemed to include the Wirral, as well as Warrington and Halton.

Entrants can be any age but those under 18 years of age on the 1st July 2019, will require written consent from a parent or guardian when submitting.

Entries must be received by 1st July 2019. The 12 entries commissioned to write the playscript will then be notified and will have until 1st October 2019 to submit their playscript.Three typed, (non-returnable) copies of the entry should be sent to: The Cheshire Prize for Literature, University of Chester, Parkgate Road, Chester, CH1 4BJ. The writer's name should not feature on the entry itself. A covering letter should include the writer's name and address, telephone number and/or email address, and the title of the entry submitted. Alternatively, email entries can be sent to, the entry must be attached as a Word document with a separate Word document attached containing a covering letter. Entrants from outside the county must state the reason for their eligibility. There is no charge for entering the competition. Entrants may submit only one entry.

Entries will be judged anonymously, by a panel chaired by Simon Poole, Faculty of Education, University of Chester and Storyhouse. The decision of the judging panel will be final. No correspondence can be entered into concerning individual entries.

Further enquiries about the competition should be directed by email: or telephone: 01244 511344


2018 prize winners

Congratulations to the winners of the 2018 Cheshire Prize for Literature, who were awarded their prizes at the awards evening with guest speaker Zoe Gilbert and High Sheriff of Cheshire Alexis Redmond MBE.

The winners of the 2018 prize for short stories were as follows:

There were joint first prize winners who split the prize money of £2,000

Sophie Claire: Fallen Sparrow

Clive McWilliam: Satellites.

There were five runners-up each winning £150

Simon Gotts: Tell Us Your Story

Angi Holden: Painting Stones for Virginia

Fiona Holland: Traffic

Yvonne Oliver: On the Dilemma of Whether to Speak Up When Your Baby Vomits into a Stranger’s Hood.

Nicola Russell-Johnson: Arpeggios of Anxiety


The Cheshire Prize for Literature
University of Chester
Parkgate Road

Tel: 01244 511344